Tom Stokes, MPP
DA KZN Spokesperson on Education
The Democratic Alliance will tomorrow visit an Empangeni warehouse containing undelivered school textbooks and workbooks, some of which have been shredded and burnt.
Earlier today, the KZN Education department issued a statement confirming that the books – destined for KwaZulu-Natal schools as far back as March – were in fact lying at the warehouse of UTI Distributors in Empangeni, a company contracted by the department of Basic Education to distribute in all provinces, including KwaZulu-Natal.
The DA is appalled by this revelation which comes as many schools in the province face extreme challenges, including a serious lack of resources.
According to the statement, the department was alerted when UTI began to distribute workbooks at the offices of Uthungulu District, rather than directly to schools. The DA has also established that the textbooks were discovered after a whistleblower reported the matter to the department. The actions of this individual must be commended and show, yet again, the valuable role that the public has to play in reducing fraud and corruption.
We also welcome the MEC’s swift response to the matter and his assurances that the perpetrators of this act will face the full might of the law. There can be no possible excuse for this.
Tomorrow the DA will conduct its own oversight visit in order to establish the magnitude of the problem. We sincerely hope that it is not anything like what we witnessed in Limpopo earlier this year.